The Alpine queen stage features approximately 5,400 meters cumulative elevation gain. The course runs first on a mild climb heading to Edolo and then climbs up the Mortirolo from Monno (only done once before in 1990). The parcours takes a pass over the finish line in Bormio, climbs up the Passo dello Stelvio (Cima Coppi) and reaches Prato allo Stelvio and Glorenza, crosses the borders to Switzerland and clears the Umbrail Pass leading back to Italy, just 3km from the Stelvio summit, and running down to Bormio.
Stage 16: Nibali wins; Dumoulin dumps time but leads
Italy can finally celebrate a stage win in the 100th Giro d’Italia after Vincenzo Nibali pounced in stage 16 to win on Tuesday. Overall leader Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) ceded more than two minutes due to stomach problems in the queen stage, but he did not lose his pink jersey.
“I wasn’t thinking of delivering the first stage win for Italy. I knew it would be very difficult to make it,” Nibali said.
Bahrain-Merida’s Nibali chased up to Mikel Landa (Sky) on the final descent of the Stelvio and pipped the Spaniard in Bormio. Nairo Quintana (Movistar) went over the top of the final climb, Umbrailpass, but he couldn’t follow Nibali down the twisting, treacherous descent.
Stage 16, top 10
- 1. Vincenzo NIBALI, BAHRAIN – MERIDA, in 6:24:22
- 2. Mikel LANDA MEANA, TEAM SKY, at :00
- 3. Nairo QUINTANA, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :12
- 4. Domenico POZZOVIVO, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at :24
- 5. Ilnur ZAKARIN, TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN, at :34
- 6. Davide FORMOLO, CANNONDALE DRAPAC PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at 1:26
- 7. Bauke MOLLEMA, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 1:35
- 8. Bob JUNGELS, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at 1:35
- 9. Adam YATES, ORICA – SCOTT, at 1:35
- 10. Thibaut PINOT, FDJ, at 1:35
- 1. Tom DUMOULIN, TEAM SUNWEB, in 70:14:48
- 2. Nairo QUINTANA, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :31
- 3. Vincenzo NIBALI, BAHRAIN – MERIDA, at 1:12
- 4. Thibaut PINOT, FDJ, at 2:38
- 5. Ilnur ZAKARIN, TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN, at 2:40
- 6. Domenico POZZOVIVO, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at 3:05
- 7. Bauke MOLLEMA, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 3:49
- 8. Bob JUNGELS, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at 4:35
- 9. Steven KRUIJSWIJK, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at 6:20
- 10. Adam YATES, ORICA – SCOTT, at 7:00
Dumoulin started the climb-heavy 222km ride from Rovetta to Bormio with a lead of 2 minutes, 41 seconds on Colombian rival Quintana.
But after an unscheduled toilet stop, the big Dutchman was left desperately chasing through the mountains before saving the pink jersey by just 31 seconds. Dumoulin, already without teammates following a punishing first few hours in the saddle, fought hard to limit the damage.
“I just had some problems. I needed to take a dump,” Dumoulin said. “I started to feel it in the downhill of the Stelvio and I had to stop. Back on the bike I decided to fight and draw conclusions after the finish. I’m still in the maglia rosa but I’m above all very disappointed.”
Eventually, on the third and final categorized climb of the day, the early breakaway of Landa, Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo), and Jan Hirt (CCC Sprandi Polkowice) disintegrated.
Landa rode on alone, but once Nibali attacked late in the climb, the gap was down to a matter of seconds. Nibali crested the mountain with Quintana, Domenico Pozzovivo (Ag2r La Mondiale), and Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha).
Nibali’s notorious descending skills paid off as he bridged to Landa and scooped up a few seconds on Quintana, as well as the stage win.
“It’s the victory of a complete rider,” Nibali added. “I had to be consistent from start to finish in a long and difficult stage. At the end I had to be an aggressive climber, a good downhill rider and a sprinter.”
Given his circumstances, Dumoulin won plaudits for a gutsy ride up the 13.4km climb to the summit of the Stelvio from the Swiss side of the mountain.
He crested with a deficit of just over two minutes on Nibali and Quintana, and doubled his efforts on the sinuous downhill before crossing the finish 2:17 down on Nibali.
On Sunday, Quintana thanked Dumoulin for slowing the pace of the peloton when he crashed so he could catch up. “It was a nice gesture from a big rival and a great person,” said Quintana.
On his way to reigniting his own pink jersey bid Quintana didn’t return the favor.
“It was a very positive day, with really good teamwork,” said the diminutive Colombian. “We knew we could pull back time on the leader [Dumoulin] today one way or another.
“Of course I would have liked to take five minutes but the reality is you often want to do something but doing it is another story. But we’re satisfied enough with what we’ve done today.”
Wednesday’s 219-kilometer stage from Tirano to Canazei will be mountainous but not as severe as stage 16.